Friday, January 28, 2011

Silvia Trkman Seminars 2011

Silvia Trkman is in town for a seminar from Saturday through Wednesday:))

I can't wait. I am so excited, I hope I will be able to sleep tonight. I have followed Silvia for a number of years. I found her on the Internet shortly after she had been to the U.S. for some seminars and I was really bummed that I had just missed her.

Last year, well in 2009, I was going to travel to Ohio to see her. The weather did not concur and I had to postpone. soon as I heard she was coming to Minnesota I was ecstatic. What luck, sometimes it is better to wait.  I don't wait well, I am very impatient but this time it worked out well.

I am auditing most of the classes. Tomorrow day is A Foundation for Excellence, with the first part of the Tricks class tomorrow night. Sunday night is Starting Your New Puppy or Dog, with the second half of the Tricks class on Tuesday night. Wednesday Reese and I have a working spot all day. The first class Turns or Cik/Cap and then in the afternoon Motivation and Play.

 I am so excited, did I mention that!

I have my notebook all ready as I am planning to take lots and lots of notes. Get some great information and bring it home to work on.  I am going to be a sponge and soak it all up.  This is such an incredible opportunity I couldn't pass up the chance to attend as many sessions as I could. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What a Long Cold Winter It Has Been....

What a long cold winter it has been, and it is still January...

We did have a heatwave the other day it actually warmed up to 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Whoo hoo! Then, as always it got cold again. Last weekend it was -47 degrees where some friends live about an hour north of me. No that is not WITH the windchill, that is straight air temperature, -47 degrees. Add the wind chill and you are not stepping outside for more than 15 seconds or your nose hairs will freeze and fall off.

This week it has been a bit warmer, actually got to 20 degrees one day and is scheduled to be warmer tomorrow. But then....
    yep, the cold is coming back.  Why, oh why do I live here?

Oh, that's right because I'm a tough Minnesotan! You don't know cold and snow until you have lived in Minnesota during January. Yeah, right! My advice - head to Florida or Arizona.

I have friends that moved here from another country. When they told people they were going to live in Minnesota.  They were warned. "Don't go to Minnesota. It gets so cold there your head will freeze and fall off."  Yeah it's a good idea to wear a hat and the smart ones throw fashion to the wind when the temps start to dip. But we are all walking around with our heads intact not to worry.

I know of someone from Minnesota who was traveling in Europe.  Met some girls and wanted to impress them. So....he explained to the ladies that in Minnesota it gets so cold that we (Minnesotans) have an extra layer of skin to keep us warm. Also, if we cut ourselves we don't bleed right way! 

Is there any wonder why people think we are crazy for living here!

There was the summer I spent in Southern California during high school.  When they found out I was from Minnesota numerous kids I met asked, "Cool, so you live in an igloo?"  "Ummm, no I don't. That would be a little farther north. Thanks for asking."

We did have our agility lesson last week, but got to train at a heated indoor facility. That was super fun!  Then this happened.
Living Room before agility lesson.

Living room after agility lesson.

Hmmm, how did that happen.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pairs Run!

Something I didn't think I'd ever see - let alone at our first trial!  Here is Reese and River's Pairs Runs.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back from the Trial

Reese and I attended our first trial this weekend. We were entered in 6 runs, two Standards, Snooker, Gamblers, Jumpers and Pairs. Each run got better. While we didn't Q I found lots to work on in training which is good. That's what trials are for in my book, to test your training. Things can look really good in practice but it's not until the real deal that you find out where your weaknesses are. Reese is pretty wiped out. We got a toy for entering. We chose a turtle (pink of course), because we are slow! But not for long - that is going to change.

Outside the ring however, Reese made progress in leaps and bounds. No screaming in the crate, no barking in her crate. Some stress drooling Saturday and a very small amount on Sunday, she even slept in it whether I was sitting there or not. (She usually fusses to get out if I am there). Yes she was probably tired by then, but still she slept and was relaxed! As a dog with separation anxiety issues this was huge for her, this was the second huge stride she made on this in the past week. Also as the trial progressed she really started to understand the routine of a trial situation.

She did great with her Pairs run, video coming soon on that. She also did good focusing on me when she got to the start line, even when she was pretty amped up going into the ring. Jumpers run had some technical difficulty so I'm not going to blind you with it but here are a few of the runs. Now the work begins....

Friday, January 7, 2011

52 Weeks Project

 Week One of the 52 Week challenge.
Bella 1/52

Sophie 1/52

Reese 1/52
(color is a bit different here but for some reason I liked this shot)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cold Weather Gear for Canines

When it is cold and by cold I mean a balmy high 0-10 degree F, dog owners have to get a little creative with ideas to work their canine minds and provide some physical exercise. Yes, even us northerners want to stay sane.

Learning new tricks and visits to Pet stores for a place to take a walk where you don't have to see your breath are a few of the old standbys. But after days confined to the house with their human who keeps mumbling obscenities under their breath about the weather, and saying, "another trick - lets teach you to play the trombone this time, yeah that one might keep us busy until Spring...."

When you are at day 5 or 6 of the frigid temps and the thermometer gives no indication of retreating from its current plummet you just have to put your layers on top of your layers which are on top of your clothes and so on....

And you are not the only one who needs to dress for the occasion. Even dogs will don their gear for a real walk...

First off dogs can and do get frost bite, so watch that the temps aren't too low. But if you are going to venture out here is the gear we use to keep Reese comfortable and happy and ready for what winter throws at us which where we live can be anything and everything.

Our year round staple in the gear department, but particularly in the Winter is what Reese?

Why its my Musher's Secret of course! 

 I love my Musher's Secret. We got a 1 pounder this year, so we are set....

I bow to thee, o' Musher's Secret
It keeps my paws warm and safe so we can run and walk everyday.

Just try to take my Musher's Secret away! I dare ya!

Seriously, this is good stuff. We obviously use it in the winter but it can be used all year round, for hikes on rough terrain or paws that have been chewed up by rough pasture land. It can also be used for ear bites etc.  It won't stain your rugs and keeps paws protected from ice and prevents ice balls in between toes.

Then there are the dog booties. They aren't just for sled dogs.
I made the blue ones and they are our preference. The pink ones are a little higher and that is a nice feature. However the pink ones didn't hold up as long as the ones we made, the bottoms wore through too fast. 

We do have to use one pink one as one of our blue ones got lost in a snow bank. These are made for walking or running on packed snow or a snow covered roads or sidewalks. It does protect their paws from the windchill and from ice and does keep the snowballs from forming in a bit deeper snow. Snowbanks tend to eat them so be forewarned.  When our booty production line opens again after the holidays we will be making some taller ones similar in height to the pink ones.

Then there is the coat. I don't normally dress my dog except for a coat or sweater when the cold temps hit. This coat is from Clean Run ( It is a great coat that protects from the cold, the wind and the wet.

Here is the whole package together.  Reese thinks this modeling business is so boring!

Seriously. The heat was cranked to 70 for the felines baths, now your dress me up for photos!

Some dogs will fuss and act like they cannot possibly walk in booties. But get them out the door and they forget they are on.

Are we done yet?

Here is a short video of Reese using her winter gear.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

Happy New Year!  2011 promises to be a great year with lots of new things happening and the achievement of goals that I have been working towards.  I changed the blog up a bit, something I have been planning for awhile now. I have an idea of what I want in my head, so it may be changing a bit here or there until I get it right.

Goals with Reese are to successfully trial this year and pick up a few titles. We have our first agility trial next weekend - it should be a great time! I have more trials planned throughout the year.

My photography skills will continue to be tested this year with some new projects I am doing. I started a new photo blog a number of months ago and I am revamping it a bit and then it will be linked to my Photo Blog page. I am doing a 52 Weeks of Cats through a group on Flickr. Some weeks have topic challenges but mostly it is up to you to find a photograph from that week to submit. I am doing this with Reese too, but on my own, no group, just going to see what I can challenge myself to do. I figure it will be a good way to look back at the end of the year and see how much I have improved.  You can see these on my Flickr site or the Photo Blog link on the new page. 

Goals for me include to find time to relax, read more, and run more!